Quick spoilers for tonight's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as I say "Wade Bogg's Carpet World" five times fast(*)...
(*) You can't do it, can you?
Okay, that's two episodes in a row now that, if not entirely satisfying (like the gourmet meal "30 Rock" can be at its best), at least made me laugh a whole bunch (like a really good pizza).
We seem to have moved away from the abrasive "real America" material for the time being, which is a huge step in the right direction. Ditto the new story idea of having Jack and Liz team up to make a "Dealbreakers" talk show. If the final sequence was a little obvious in how it applied the hoariest of romantic comedy cliches to Jack and Liz's friendship, at least it kept it clear that this is a friendship, and Tina Fey is smart enough to keep it that way.
The Tracy/Jenna team often seems too far out of the realm of reality for me to enjoy them - each character tends to work best when playing off of the more grounded Liz or Jack - yet this is two episodes in a row where I haven't cringed at their combined subplot. The running gag with the t-shirt confusion was a highlight, but the two characters were shooting so many jokes out there ("black stripper with blue eyes," Jenna referring to Kenneth as an "underhuman") that enough landed to make it work. And I don't know where Jack "Danny" Baker fits into the show long-term, but Cheyenne Jackson fit in well his first time out. (Or maybe I'm just a sucker for Canadian pronunciation humor.)
Plus, any episode that so expertly parodies the hideous monstrosity that is ESPN's "Around the Horn" (the obvious inspiration for "Sports Shouting") deserves applause.
What did everybody else think?